Some people might wonder, what are the goals of BAE United? The leadership at Bricolage has open doors to employees who wish to voice concerns. While we are grateful for that type of leadership, we want to secure equity and formalized methods for collaboration for Bricolage employees present and future. Leadership can change, but a recognized Union with Collective Bargaining has lasting power.
We have come together as Bricolage Academy Educators United so that we can have the power to speak up for what we need as professional educators and what our students need in the classroom. Through our collective power as a union, we will be able to negotiate with our administration over the terms and conditions of our work lives -- to have an equal seat at the table as decisions are made. The only way to guarantee that we have a voice in these decisions is through the collective bargaining process.
After we win union recognition, we will begin negotiations with the administration over a first contract. At that point the administration is legally required to meet with us regularly and bargain in good faith. We will start by surveying everyone in the unit to understand our priorities, we will elect a bargaining committee to sit at the table and bargain the contract. We, alone, will set the priorities for negotiations. This won’t be a quick process, but rather an opportunity to be mindful and deliberate as we map out a vision for the future.
Once we have reached an agreement, all members will have a chance to review the contract and vote on whether or not to approve it. If we don’t like the contract and it gets voted down, then we return to the bargaining table. The Collective Bargaining Agreement will be legally binding and will have a mechanism for resolution of any disputes in binding arbitration. Usually a contract lasts for a few years, at which point we will reconvene and renegotiate the agreement, building off our previous progress.
In between negotiations, we hope to build out “labor-management committees” where we will be able to meet regularly with members of the administration to discuss any issues that pop up. This will help us respond quickly and collaboratively to the needs of our school, but will not take away from your ability to continue to work directly with your own supervisors to serve your students' needs day-to-day.
The experience of negotiating a contract is always different, because it comes down to the individual people at the bargaining table, but the end goal is always the same: a binding contract that legally guarantees rights to the employees. At Bricolage, we look forward to bargaining because we have always prided ourselves on open and honest communication around the shared goal of student improvement. We won’t agree on everything, but the negotiation process gives us a structured way to work through any disagreements and reach compromise. Ultimately, we, the teachers and support staff of Bricolage, will have the collective power to create a unique and specific contract that speaks to our needs as employees.